Periodontal disease is caused by the presence of bacteria in plaque. Plaque is the sticky film that accumulates on teeth both above and below the gum line. Periodontal disease can cause inflammation on destruction of tissues surrounding and supporting teeth, gums, bone and fibers which hold the gums to the teeth. A number of factors increase the probability of developing periodontal disease, including diabetes, smoking , poor oral hygiene, diet, and genetic factors. It is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.
How are periodontal disease and diabetes related?
It is estimated that one-third of the population, have diabetes, but only half of these people are diagnosed. Studies have shown that diabetics are more susceptible to oral infections and periodontal disease than those who do not have diabetes. Oral infections tend to be more severe in diabetics verses non-diabetics.
What types of problems to diabetics experience?
Diabetics may experience diminished salivary flow and burning sensations of the mouth or tongue. Dry mouth also may develop, causing an increased incidence of decay. Gum recession has been found to occur more frequently in poorly controlled diabetics. Due to the increased susceptibility to periodontal disease and oral infections your dentist may prescribe medicated mouth rinses or more frequent cleanings.
How can diabetics stay healthy?
Make sure to take extra good care of your mouth and have dental infections treated immediately. Diabetics who receive good dental care and have good insulin control have a better chance of avoiding periodontal disease. Diet and exercise may be the most important changes that diabetics can make to improve the quality of their life and oral health. Diabetics should be sure both their medical and dental care providers are aware of their medical history and periodontal status. To keep teeth and gums strong, diabetic patients should be aware of their blood sugar levels in addition to having their triglycerides and cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis. These may have a direct correlation on your chances of obtaining periodontal disease.